Warehouse management is best when it takes a holistic approach. Piecemeal management can work, but…
Yes, we are still in the middle of a massive supply chain nightmare that is both unprecedented and has no end in sight. What is the cause? It will take years of research to truly understand the cause and effect relationship of the logistic problems we’re seeing. For now, it’s clearly a result of the pandemic, some ill-timed natural disasters in regions central to the global supply chain, as well as the national labor shortage, which is keeping fewer trucks on the road.
However, if you’ve invested in a logistics, warehousing, and transportation service like ours, then you’re in the best position possible. Not only are you keeping your head above water in these trying times, but you’ll be the first business to bounce back when things get back to normal. With that said, we thought we’d dive into one of the lesser-known ways we deal with a problematic supply chain; packaging.
Foam, Wood, & Shrink Wrap Shortages: The Perfect Storm for Shipping Problems
What do foam, lumber, and ethylene vinyl alcohol all have in common? If you haven’t guessed, they’re all components in how we package almost everything that leaves a warehouse and heads out to the doorsteps of consumers.
Unfortunately, all three of these industries are suffering from massive disruptions in their supply chain, which means they aren’t as easy to procure as they should be. You might be wondering what these materials are used for.
- Foam: most popular packaging substrates are made out of foam. Think of packing peanuts or Styrofoam.
- Lumber: while consumers might get their packages in cardboard boxes, warehouses get their shipments via pallet. As the lumber shortage continues, it makes it difficult to buy new pallets, which makes it all the harder to move product around.
- Ethylene-vinyl alcohol: the stuff that goes into shrink wrap, which is the stuff that packers spin around your shipments to secure them on the aforementioned pallets.
Why Substitutions & Flexibility Matter
As they say, try not to put all of your eggs in one basket. If your shipping and packaging are done in-house, then you more than likely are biting your nails right now as you see the cost of packing peanuts increase; that is, if you can even find them.
With a warehousing and packaging service like us, you have a professional organization that has access to a multitude of packing materials. We don’t rely on one single substrate, nor are we going to pay for it at a premium when we have cheaper alternatives. We know when to substitute one thing for another, and we have the flexibility to keep your business moving.
Multiple Supplier Contracts Are Key
How do you ensure a flexible, diverse supply of packaging materials in the middle of a supply chain crisis? The answer is straightforward, even if it’s hard for a single person to achieve; you have multiple, million-dollar contracts with packaging suppliers the world over.
When you have 6 eggs and 12 baskets, then you have options and autonomy even in a newly limited market. If all you ever have is “Plan A”, then you’re in trouble when that inevitably fails you. With a large provider like us, you have plans A through D. With that many options, you know you’re getting the most cost-effective packaging solutions in the industry.
We Know When to Pivot So You Don’t Have to
A full deck of cards is great, but only when you know which cards to play and at what time. We’re experts in the warehousing, transportation, and logistics industries. We know how to weather the storm because we’ve spent decades cultivating relationships with suppliers so we have options. When push comes to shove (and it has), we’ll always have a card up our sleeve. That’s the guarantee we make to our clients, and the guarantee we can extend to you in these uncertain times.